Department of Historical Heritage Studies transforming tourism on the global stage – ATLAS 2019

Posted on September 23, 2019

Two members of the Department of Historical and Heritage Studies (DHHS) attended the international Association for Tourism and Leisure Education and Research (ATLAS) conference in Girona, Spain in September 2019.

The theme of the conference, “Tourism Transformations”, aligned well with the ongoing research and teaching DHHS has conducted since the inception of the Heritage and Cultural Tourism (EFK) degree two decades ago.  Prof Karen Harris and Mr. C.R. Botha presented a paper titled “Insourcing the Indigenous without Outsourcing the Story Teller – An African solution” that addressed the position of indigenous communities within the tourism domain.  Based on some of the research done for the National Department of Tourism, it outlined the vulnerable place of the indigene within the global tourism context and how this position has become increasingly jeopardised. At a local level, it flagged the contradiction within South African legislation in terms of the participation of the indigene and proposed a participatory model within the ambit of the heritage culture tourist guide as a solution. 

The second paper presented by Prof Harris “Stimulating Simulation: Teaching and Training Tourism Graduates” reflected on the DHHS Honours degree module EFK 752 and the component University of Pretoria Camus Tours (UPCT). This paper addressed the global concern regarding the development of tourism education within higher education institutions (HEI) and the lack of alignment of tourism in academia with tourism in industry. It proffered the introduction of a simulated entity – UPCT – which combined theory and research with implementation and practise as a solution to the disjuncture.

Both papers were well received with delegates from a number of countries inviting DHHS to collaborate on various research projects and tourism projects. 

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